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Yosemite Victim's Father Struggles Against Revenge

July 23, 2002|From Associated Press

SAN JOSE — The father of slain Yosemite sightseer Silvina Pelosso says only his remaining daughter has kept him from killing Cary Stayner, the handyman on trial in the murder of Pelosso and her friends Carole and Juli Sund.

"I could do justice on my own. I know I could do it," Jose Pelosso said last week outside the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. "Throughout the trial, I think I've had more than 10 opportunities to kill him."

The Argentine father, who stormed out of the courtroom Thursday while a tape of Stayner's confession was playing, said he can't escape such thoughts.

Pelosso's daughter left Argentina for a year in America and was allegedly killed by the man Pelosso now comes to see every day. Stayner, already imprisoned for killing another young woman, sits no farther than the distance of a basketball free throw from Pelosso in court.

But the father keeps his seat.

Pelosso told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that it is because of his remaining daughter.

"My other daughter," he said. "That's the only thing that keeps me from it. I would have killed him. That's the only thing. I would just tear him up."

Pelosso, who goes by the name Pepe, and his wife, Raquel, have suffered the worst years of their lives since the death of their daughter. Their country's economy has crumbled. They've lost their long-held family business. Their marriage is continually tested. And Silvina is gone.

They traveled to the United States from Cordoba, Argentina, earlier this month as Stayner's trial date neared.

They worried that they might not be able to come because of the economic chaos in their country. But with the help of private donations, the family was able to make the trip and will stay in an apartment in San Jose for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last two months.

Their friends, Francis and Carole Carrington, Carole Sund's parents, are staying nearby.

Their daughter Paula, 24, didn't come for the trial, saying she couldn't miss any more school, her father said. "She tries very hard to not show me how upset she is," Pelosso said.

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